Extraction Socket Preservation Procedure

Preserving Your Jaw Bone after Extraction

Removal of teeth is sometimes necessary because of pain, infection, bone loss or fracture of the tooth. The bone that holds the tooth in place (the extraction socket) is often damaged by disease and/or infection resulting in deformity of the jaw after the tooth is extracted. In addition, when teeth are extracted, the surrounding bone and gums can shrink and recede very quickly after the extraction resulting in unsightly defects and collapse of the lips, and cheeks.

These jaw defects can create major problems in performing restorative dentistry whether your treatment involves dental implants, bridges or dentures. Jaw deformities from tooth removal can be prevented and repaired by a procedure called socket preservation. Socket preservation can greatly improve your smile’s appearance and increase your chances for successful dental implants for years to come.

Several techniques can be used to preserve the bone and minimize bone loss after an extraction. In one common method, the tooth is removed and the extraction socket is filled with bone or bone substitute. It is then covered with gum, artificial membrane, or tissue stimulating proteins to encourage your body’s natural ability to repair the socket. With this method, the socket heals eliminating shrinkage and collapse of surrounding gum and facial tissues. The newly formed bone in the socket also provides a foundation for an implant to replace the tooth. If your dentist has recommended tooth removal, be sure to ask if extraction socket preservation is necessary. This is particularly important if you are planning on replacing the front teeth.  

If you are planning to get an implant in the future to replace a lost tooth, bone grafting the extraction site is the standard of care to maintain the bone needed for an implant in most cases.  In some cases where there is an abundance of exsisting bone Dr. Schultz may not bone graft at the time of tooth removal.  Severe, active infection may also preclude bone grafting at the time of tooth extraction.  Dr. Schultz has extensive experience in these procedures and performs therm every, single day.  He will work with you to determine what surgical treatment plan will be the best to restore your dental function.